Sunday, August 31, 2014

Classroom Reveal Part 1

Well, it only took three weeks, but I think I am finally ready for the first day of school! Truth be told, I still feel like I have a million things to do, but that's the nature of the beast, right?  Today I am just sharing one small part of my room...my teacher space.  This is what it looked like when I came back a few weeks ago...



And here we are just a few short hours (more like 150!) later...


The scary part is I got rid of my teacher desk completely!  I was a little nervous about that, but I actually feel much more organized than before.  

I bought a couple things to put behind my desk that Fletch helped me showcase a week or so ago...




I'm using the black drawers for the things I used to keep in the drawers in my desk.  The hanging files replace the hanging file drawer in my old desk, the one I call The Black Hole. Among other things I keep items in these files that I take away from students...only to be returned on the last day of school.  


The tall cart I labeled with the days of the week.  I am going to use this for my copies for the week.  

And I just had to have one of those toolboxes that you see all over Pinterest!



I am already loving this!  My desk drawers were never this organized!

You can find my Editable Toolbox Labels at my TPT Store!  


I also made a new Late Work board for my desk.  I bought an inexpensive picture frame and covered the picture that came in it with a leftover scrap of fabric from my bulletin boards and attached my sign to the frame.  Voila!  



When students have a late assignment, I write it on a little sticky note and stick it on the glass.  When they turn it in, I take the sticky note off and attach it to their paper. 

I have added the Late Work sign along with the days of the week I used on my cart to my Classroom Labels Set which is free in my TPT Store!


I'll share more of my room in the days to come, hopefully after I have gotten over my back-to-school jitters!  I am always so anxious up until that moment when my kids walk in the door.  I think I am more nervous than the students, even after all these years!  Do you still get those butterflies before your first day?




Friday, August 22, 2014

Five for ...Is it Still Friday?

It has been a long exhausting week but I wanted to squeeze in a quick Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!



Okay, technically this was last week, but I joined some of my fellow teachers in painting the lockers in our school.



We have had lockers in three different colors and sizes as that's what you get when your lockers are hand-me-downs from other buildings.  That would drive you crazy too, right? We were lucky enough to be adopted by Home Depot.  They provided the paint along with volunteer labor from employees who work at the various stores in our area.  Isn't that awesome?!  We are hoping to eventually get windows and floors too.


I inherited a great horseshoe table from another teacher and decided to do something crazy...I got rid of my teacher desk!  First I looked for all kinds of ideas on how to organize my things on Pinterest (of course) and found a couple of great things at Big Lots and Walmart.



Fletch is showcasing a colorful 10 drawer cart that I found at Big Lots for $25.  The best part was when I saw it somewhere else the next day for $90!  I love a bargain!


Next, Fletch has a 5 drawer cart I found at Walmart.


I couldn't find a price on this anywhere and had to hunt someone down to ask them how much it was.  I was told $29 and thought...okay, I can handle that.  It rang up for $19! Love it when that happens!  


Here they are behind my work space.  I'll share more later about how I am using them.


Last year I tried this fabulous idea from Pinterest...felt footies for my chairs.  Click on the picture below for directions from Art with Mr. E.


They lasted the entire year and worked great!  So here I am once again tracing and cutting circles of felt with the help of Fletch once again.


I enlisted Jake and his girlfriend Maddy to do the fun work of removing last year's footies and putting on the new ones.  As you can see, Jake was thrilled with the task and with me for taking pictures.



It was an exciting week on the home-building front as we finally got to see our siding going up.  I agonized over red paint samples and then crossed my fingers...




I'm loving how it's turning out!  It's still Friday, but just barely...check out all the other Five for Fridays at Doodle Bugs Teaching!






Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made It-Movin' On Up to Mom and Dad's!

I have finally found time to link up with one of my favorites...Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics!



This post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend.  


My summer of insanity continued full blown this week with Jake's senior pictures...last day of Camp Literacy...closing the sale on our old house...and moving into our new house that was ready six weeks early my mom and dad's!

It seemed like it took forever, but we finally "made it" through the move!  I thought the stuff to pack would never end.  But after four trips to Salvation Army and numerous trips to the in-laws barn, my parents' garage, and the storage unit, we got it done.  On Tuesday the moving truck arrived to take all the big furniture and stuff we couldn't do ourselves. My husband conveniently couldn't get out of work that day...really?!  And I single-handedly carried up every dumbbell, barbell, and free weight from the basement.  No guilt about not working out that day.  Just when the movers were finishing up loading the truck and I'm thinking...is this really going to fit in the storage unit?...I get a call from our realtor. The buyers of our house want to know if we want to leave any of our furniture in the house and sell it to them.  Are you kidding me?!  I told the realtor he called a day too late, and in my head I pulled a Tom Hanks from Money Pit.




Luckily I was able to get my two makeover projects done shortly before the move.  Made It #2 was a two-piece find at a local antique and consignment mall.  I knew one of them would make the perfect addition to my library.  Here's the before...


I enlisted my husband once again to do the dirty work...


He cut big pieces of press board to fit on the back, I traced the openings and did the fun job of painting them. 


As always, Emmitt is there to help!


I love the end result and can't wait to put it in my library and fill it with books!



The fraternal twin of the first piece looked perfect for storage!  Here's the before...


After more sanding and painting, his full potential is revealed!


Then add bins from Big Lots!


I can't wait to load him up!

Finally got to check something off my summer to-do list...my Camp Common Core Critical Verbs Bundle!  The 37-page packet and word wall set can be used to help prepare your students to do their best on assessments including the common core by teaching them 37 critical verbs used on tests.


You can find this new product at my TPT Store.


Made It #4 is actually a couple years in the making!  My district started using the MAISA units created by Oakland Schools for Social Studies a few years ago.  They are packed with activities that get the students much more involved and interested than the boring old social studies book.  I did struggle with a couple things though.  One problem was the same one we struggle with in every subject area...the lack of time.  I discovered that with my allotted time for teaching Social Studies, I would have to really pick and choose which activities I would use so that I could still get through all the units in the year.  The second thing that drove me crazy was the abundance of handouts for students. Some students have a hard time keeping track of where their textbook is let alone several different handouts for each lesson.  

So, two summers ago I spent a great deal of time going through the units and deciding which activities I would do with my students.  I retyped all the lesson plans only using those activities I felt I had time to use and built in time for vocabulary quizzes, study guides, and test.  Then over the last two school years I created all-encompassing packets for each unit that contain all the handouts the students would need.  I even created typed answer keys of these packets for my special education inclusion students.  Here's a preview of what one of my packets looks like.

I finally have everything compiled and I'm ready to share!  



If you would like the lesson plans and student packets that will last you for the entire year, please follow my blog by clicking on the Bloglovin' button (pictured below) which is near the top of my blog page on the right hand side...

Follow on Bloglovin

and follow my TPT Store (the logo below will take you there)...


and then email your follower numbers to me at ryesteph@aol.com and let me know you would like all the materials.  Be sure to put 5th grade Social Studies materials as the subject, and I'll be happy to share them with you!  By emailing me, you are also agreeing to receive future newsletters that will let you know about other freebie offers, special sales, new blog posts and more!

I have created teacher resource sets to go along with each of these units as well.  They include a variety of materials such as vocabulary flashcards, games, and quizzes, unit review games, worksheets, and writing assignments, just to name a few. Here's a peek at one of my sets for the Road to Revolution unit.

I have also created study guide and assessment sets for each of the units.



All of these materials are available at my TPT Store!

If you are interested in the Social Studies textbook I reference in the lesson plans, it is available at Amazon.  You can find it by clicking on the link below.  



And here's a peek at our summer made-it project in progress.  The stone work got finished this week.  I didn't even want stone to begin with, but I love how it turned out!


Check out all the other Monday Made-Its at 4th Grade Frolics!




Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday-One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

I'm celebrating my one year blogiversary this week with one of my favorite linkies, Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!  




I've got to try and make this short and sweet, because I just found out that we are closing on our current house next week!  Yikes!  So, I'm movin' on up to mom and dad's basement while our house is finished. Here goes...



I finished a couple more great summer reads recently...


and...



Both of these books were hard for me to put down.  I love it when I get into a book like that!  I would love to hear what your best read of the summer was so I can put it on my to-read list.


We keep making progress on the house (though it's never fast enough!), and it's exciting to see!  This week the stone went up on the outside and my kitchen table filled up with lighting, cupboard doors, granite samples, tile and paint colors and...




I think I can finally see the light at the end of the long, long, decision-making tunnel.  I know I make a thousand decisions a day in the classroom, but those are instinctual.  I don't have to think about what to do when Johnny throws a spit wad across the room but choosing a gray paint color?!  I literally think we have one decision left to make...master bath countertop, and then done!


With everything going on this summer I have hardly touched anything on my to-do list but I finally got something accomplished that I wanted to start the year with.  Last year I did a book challenge inspired by Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer.  I wanted a bulletin board set and reading journal to go along with it and came across adorable clip art this summer that I thought was perfect for a Camp Read-A-Lot theme.  The result was my Camp Read-A-Lot Reading Journal & 40 Book Challenge Bundle.  


You can find it in my TPT Store!

But it's way more fun to win it instead of buying it so...


I'm throwing my first ever giveaway!  And fittingly it's with my friend and teammate who got me started on my blogging adventure, Melissa from Wild About Fifth Grade.


You can win my Camp Read-A-Lot Reading Journal and 40 Book Challenge Bundle and Melissa's Common Core Critical Verbs Vocabulary Word Wall Set, both great products for back to school bulletin boards!  The giveaway begins today and ends next Friday, August 8th, at midnight.  Good luck!

And don't forget to check out all the other Five for Friday fun at Doodle Bugs Teaching!



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